Released On - 09 Mar 2005     1hr 54min

Cast View All

Crew View All

Set in 1938 India, child marriages were rampant and a very normal affair in almost every household, especially in villages. A widow however was seen as a diminished character and not given any respect. Such was the life of 8 year old Chuhiya, who’s husband suddenly died and she was left at the ashram to be cared for. The ashram is run by Madhumati, who is a crude and pompous lady. Her friend Gulabi, supplies her cannabis and also helps to pimp one of the young widows Kalyani, played by Lisa Ray to help fund the ashram. Chuhiya befriends Shakuntala, played by Seema Biswas, an angry but righteous widow, who despises being a widow and the ashram’s practices.


Madhumati gets Kalyani ferried across the Ganges to customers on the other side. Kalyani becomes close to Narayan, played by John Abraham, a follower of Mahatma Gandhi. Chuhiya comes to know of their affair and accidentally reveals it to Madhumati who gets furious on the potential of losing the source of income for the ashram and locks her up. Shakuntala realizes this and lets Kalyani free. Narayan then takes her into a ferry to his house. Suddenly Kalyani realizes that it is the house she has been before as Narayan’s father has been her client. In horror she asks to be taken back. Narayan confronts his father and is disgusted at knowing the truth and leaves home. Unfortunately Kalyani ends her life by drowning.


The movie is directed by Deepa Mehta and produced by David Hamilton. The music is composed by A.R Rahman and Mychael Danna. The cinematography is by Giles Nuttgens.